The Awesome Things: March 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Paris "The City of Lights"


 It was my first time to visit the city famously known as the "City of Lights" or "City of Love". It was truly a dream come true to go to France all-expense paid. I'm forever grateful to the French Embassy for this once in a lifetime opportunity that I know I can never afford. It took me years before I finally got what I wanted and it sure tasted sweet. It felt like I won the lottery! Truly, you'll only reach the sweetness of success if you have the determination, hard-work, and the Grace of God fueling you every step of the way. 

Allow me to quote Oprah Winfrey "The big secret in life is there is no secret. Whatever your goal. You can get there if you're willing to work."

There it's revealed. There is no such thing as luck. Opportunity and Preparation are the ingredients to the broth of success. And only you can define your own success for it will determine your happiness but God is truly good for what He speaks is true and always will be. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4. Only God can make your joy complete, there is none like Him.


Paris, was breath-taking. It was an experience I would never forget and I still wish I'm in France now. But I know where I belong, I belong in my own country- The Philippines. For this is my home and where I find the very roots of my identity. But having to breath the air of France, eat their food, talk their language was something I also need to help me understand myself better and to change my perspective of things. I've always wanted to set foot on a foreign country and to experience the way they live at first hand. I was probably influence by what I see on television.  Everything was very glittery but it only made me realize even more of what my country lacks and needs. It lacks self-less people who are passionate enough to strive for excellence and to give out their service to the country. It needs people who dream big. As big as the ocean blue for you are more than who you think you are.


France is the home of some of the greatest artists, musicians in the world. People who devote themselves to finding beauty and immortalizing them in paintings, sculptures and songs. It is evident on how these people adore beauty and seek to find for it is revealed in the aesthetics on their streets, landscape and architecture.  


Though the French are not all work and no fun, they also love to take in the moment and to have a slow pace in life like enjoying the company of others while lying on the grass enjoying the sun. They love long walks for it is when you get to look around and see the beauty of things in the streets or parks. Sometimes you'll see them sipping coffee at the cafes talking, reading newspapers or people-watching. But when they get back to work, they work with passion. They are individualistic and they take pride in their language and culture. That's what I admire about them. They know when to pause, when to get back to business. They also value the presence of family and friends and on how to give importance to them. And when they love, they love with passion. You can see it clearly on the streets, they are proud of the persons they love and they're not ashamed to show it to the world.


A lot of people may find the French as somewhat rude as when you speak to them in English they would just ignore you or tell you they don't speak English. Though most french can speak in English as they've taken it in school but I guess what other people may perceive as rude-ness is just a sense of pride for the French for they are proud of their own language. It would not hurt though if you speak a little french or so and with that, you'll see that they're not as rude as many think they are. They'll help you when you're lost or give you advices if you just learn to speak their language when your in France.


Pont des Arts side railings are mostly filled with locks inscribed with names of lovers who usually visit the area. It is said that when you do inscribe your names in it both of you will never be apart again then they throw the key into the waters so no one can ever unlock them and set you both apart. 


The Louvre is one of the largest museum in the world and it's a historic monument that was also seen in the movie "The Vinci Code". It is home the of the masterpieces of Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, and Rembrandt among others.

The museum was so big that I was exhausted beyond words after touring around the area, I wasn't even able to explore every nook and cranny of the place. Mind you, I don't think I would be able to take in every one of those 537 paintings. That would be overwhelming!

Exotic Olango Island Getaway


Allow me to give a brief introduction about Olango Island. It is a group of island in the Central Visayas Region. Located 5km from the coast of Mactan Island, it lies between te Bohol Strait to the South and the Camotes Sea to the North. It has six islets namely: Silpa, Nalusuan, Gilutungan, Caohagan, Pangan-an, and Camungi. Olango Island is part of Cebu Province and is known for its wildlife sanctuary.


I am very grateful to Mr. Jonjie Gonzales and his team for having invited the Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc. to this exotic island. After leaving the Hilton Port (near Movenpick Resort in Mactan, Cebu) we traveled by barge to reach Sta.Rosa Port in Olango Island. 

Our host took us in their humble abode as Home stay. We get to sleep under cool Nipa houses and truly felt like one of the locals. This is what you call a real island experience- when you absorb the influence of the locals, living like them, eating what they eat and sharing their culture.

photo credit:

Next on our list of many many things to do on the island, we went "Panulo" a local term defining catching crabs, shells in the mangrove swamps. It was my first time to do something like that and it's really for the adventure-seekers for it's not an easy feat. We struggled across the muddy swamps. Instead of looking for crabs, I was focusing more on keeping my balance as my feet are sinking in the slippery mud and the sharp roots and branches of the mangroves are sticking out. The experience was like walking on rice paddies. Sticky and slippery and a bit smelly. I'm not really the person whose big for these types of adventures but it was something new and I'm willing to do it to expand my life experience.


Look at the sea creatures that we caught. And no, we didn't eat them if ever you're wondering. We through them back to where they rightfully belong- to the sea. Though I've tried eating sea urchins before and boy, they were good if eaten fresh. It taste both sweet and salty, but it may smell a bit pungent if you keep it for a few more days so be sure to finish them 1-2 days from the day it was caught.

 photo credit: 

Here's a photo of us, evident of our struggles but I know they still had fun. :) 


We then visited the island's bird sanctuary, too bad it was not the season to see many migratory birds. But if you're lucky, you'll get to see migratory birds all the way from Japan, Siberia and Northern China for the birds use Olango Island as a major refueling station and to  flee from the harsh winter season.


A few of the pleasure of this exotic Island is the tranquility where you get to connect more with yourself and nature. It's a wonderful getaway from the stresses of life for those who want to escape for a while to help give you a fresher mind ready to face reality again. You'll experience the island life, the local food and culture at first hand.


Some of the food that the island has to offer are the "Saang". The meat inside the shell has this elastic texture with a zing of saltiness. They even sell these on the local streets of the City of Cebu and it's one of my personal favorite.


The locals call these "Puto Balanghoy". It's made up of Cassava formed into oblong shapes like these. I'm not really big for it won't hurt to try.


We also got to try another of their local food "Pan Bisaya". It's a local bread that tastes well, like bread. What else would it taste like? eh? You can't expect it to taste like crab. :)


Another activity that the island has to offer is the biking adventure. You get to have a tour around the "barangays" of the island and at the same time immerse yourself in their very own culinary experience.


At night, you can enjoy their disco at the local gym. You get to dance the night away and meet the people living on the island. It's a real Island Get away. 

For more information on how you can organize a tour like this contact them at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

General Luna and Flawless Celebrates International Women’s Day in SM Cebu City


The country’s preferred clinic for face, body and medical services, Flawless, in partnership with SM City Cebu, held a free mini concert that aimed to help spread awareness about gender equality in the Queen City of the South. Staged by a premiere all-female rock band, General Luna. 

“Flawless and General Luna share a common belief that womanhood should be celebrated,” shares Flawless C.E.O., Rubby Sy. “To this day, women in some parts of the world still don’t enjoy the same freedom and rights as men do; we still hear stories of abuse and negligence caused by cultural and social norms. We think that this is something that needs attention. Yes, the fight for women’s rights has come a long way, especially here in the Philippines—the world’s eighth best place for gender equality. However, the war is far from over. Men and women, civilians and governments, private and public institutions; we all need to come together to make total gender equality come true.”


Known for their iconic style that echoes those of Pinoy bands of the 90’s, the event proved to everyone that General Luna’s artistry goes beyond writing melodramatic lyrics and heart-tugging tunes that captivate the human soul. An advocate of women’s rights and gender equality, the group has amassed a cult-like following among today’s youth, especially among members of the male species.


Alex Montemayor’s captivating bass playing lays the foundation for General Luna’s iconic sound.


Pretty and petite Caren Mangaran’s guitar playing for the fans during the band’s mini concert in Cebu.


Her beauty might get you thinking otherwise, but Audry Dionisio’s guitar playing skills can give her male counterparts a run for their money.


General Luna lead vocalist, Nicole Asensio belting some of the band’s most popular songs during a mini concert in Cebu. The event was sponsored by Flawless in celebration of International Women’s Day.


Composed of Nicole Asensio on vocals, Caren Mangaran on lead guitar, Audry Dionisio on rhythm guitar, Alex Montemayor on bass guitar, and Bea Lao on drums, the group is also Flawless’ ambassador for Fractional Needling Therapy—a ground-breaking aesthetic solution that uses microneedles to address six beauty concerns, namely scars, acne, stretch marks, dark spots, wrinkles and hair loss.

Flawless continuously raises standards in the local beauty industry by introducing cutting-edge technologies and innovative aesthetic solutions offered at affordable prices. Powered by Skin Professionals, at the brand’s very core is an esteemed roster of medical doctors and well-trained aesthetic professionals stationed at each of the brand’s 35 strategically-placed clinics. All of Flawless’ skincare centers house medical-grade machines and well-researched aesthetic solutions that are scientifically-proven effective in addressing a myriad of skin and body concerns.

Avail of Flawless special treat to everyone this season—Summer Love Affair. Enjoy a free facial for every purchase of skincare kit and a free Shape & Sculpt session for every Mesolipo treatment plus 25% OFF until March 31, 2013!


2nd level, SM Cebu City
North Reclamation area

Contact: 032 238 9605

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